Past Time

It’s nearly a month since the flame was extinguished at the Summer 2012 London Olympics, and I believe I’ve knit exactly once since then. It surprises me, a bit, the way I’ve let time get away from me like that. I didn’t manage to finish an entire sweater–I never really thought I would–but I did very nearly make it to the halfway point.

Ondule sweater back--nearly finished

The left (right? can’t remember…) front I believe I’ve posted already, but here is the nearly finished back. I know intellectually that there are nearly twice as many stitches as one front, but I still can’t believe how much longer it seems to be taking (lack of knitting time aside).

In some ways I’m dismayed that I’ve seemingly neglected my knitting so much–but fall is in the air. Perhaps that’s all I needed–humidity and wool don’t go well together, after all…

Wow–I’ve kept knitting!

The way my knitting has been going lately, I was fairly certain after finishing Crocus that, new yarns notwithstanding, I would not be doing much with my knitting. Too busy, too hot.

Err…while I don’t really have anything new to show, I’ve been knitting quite a bit this past week! It started over the weekend when for the first time in forever I sat down to knit for more than a few minutes. I think perhaps all I needed was a “new” project. I picked up Ondule first, which at past the armhole shaping for the first front was further than I remembered. I worked on it for a while, then looked at it a little more closely–I was getting a different gauge. Whether because I’m “out of practice” or the weather or I’m just doing something slightly differently, I don’t know. So I ripped the new part out and tried a slightly larger needle (US 1.5 up to US 2 – only about .25 mm difference). Still not quite right, but I’m afraid if I go up again it will be too big.

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As I measured the sleeve, in the old portion (below the bottom lifeline), I’m getting 23.5 sts per 4″. Between the two lifelines is 24.5 sts per 4″. At that scale I might not worry about it too much, except that the bottom portion is noticeably looser to the touch. Then there’s the fact that going up one more needle would then match what the pattern calls for–and I never knit to this designer’s gauge with the given needle–so I’m not sure if my weekend knitting was unusually tight for me, and I’ll get back to “normal” with a return to regular knitting. I’m slightly stymied, but I’ve made the very easy decision to put it aside for now to figure out later–and maybe make a better assessment of  my natural tension. Even if I weren’t having gauge issues, it is entirely too hot to be working on a wool sweater right now!

So I did the natural thing and switched to an unfinished lace project.

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If you have a very very good memory and have been following along long enough, you’ll know I restarted my “mystery shawl 3” from 2007 back in 2009 (I didn’t like my original gauge, of course!). It’s then mostly sat as other projects pushed in front of it. However, it currently wins the “work on me” award as it is lightweight enough to work on in the summer and I didn’t have to do too much work to figure out where I left off. At the moment the pattern is very obscured and very messy-looking (blocking should be fun with this one), but if you want to know what it is supposed to look like, this is Swan Lake from Melanie Gibbons. I don’t actually have as much yarn as the pattern calls for, but there are instructions for shortening it, so I might go that route. Or not–I’m about to the shortening point, and it seems like I still have a lot of yarn left. Since I’m working in a lighter weight (I think) than most of the projects I’ve seen on Ravelry, I’m probably at a different gauge–I went with how it looked rather than measuring it–so I may have enough. Or not. I’ll use lifelines, but cross my fingers I don’t have to rip any out–it’s alpaca and a pain to undo.

I’ve actually been working on this pretty regularly this week–the miserable heat + another non-fiber project kept me from it last night. It’s fun to get back to regular knitting time though, and I hope I can keep it up. Some more FO’s to balance out the recently acquired stash would be great!

finally finished!

I’m almost ashamed to admit what a bad blogger I’ve been–I’ve had my Braided Pullover finished for nearly (over?) two weeks, I’ve even worn it twice so far–but I’m only just now getting it posted here. Sigh. Must work on prompter posting.

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Pattern: Braided Pullover, Fall 2008 Interweave Knits
Yarn: Elsebeth Levold Silky Wool
Needles: US 3 & 4 (3.25 & 3.5 mm)
Modifications: I reworked the decrease rate after discovering that an “off” row gauge + my lack of height made the v-neck too low. Also shortened sleeves.

Verdict: Not a big fan of Silky Wool for reverse stockinette stitch, which is the bulk of the sweater. I think that a more “smooth” (technical term, ahem) yarn would make a more even field. This shows off my inconsistent tension just a mite too much. (So I’m admitting the failing isn’t just the yarn!) Otherwise, it’s not a bad yarn. I’m also not a 100% fan of my own re-work math. Either I miscalculated the decrease rate, forgot to account for the neck band, or my row gauge changed between calculations and knitting, but the neck ended up higher than anticipated on the second go-round. I’m leaving it, however. I’ve already knit this twice, and it should be warmer this way. Necessary this winter, I might add.

Finally, as seen below, the seam joining sleeves to body is a little puffy, a look I’m not excited by. I should have realized this from the pattern pictures, but I must have overlooked it. What’s really puzzling me though, is I swear I didn’t have this problem the first go-round and I know I didn’t change anything about the sleeve or shoulder decreases.

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In the final conclusion, it’s warm, comfy, and the little things won’t bother me enough to not wear it. I just might avoid my own math for future projects!

Nearly There–Again

Ribbed Pullover 90percent

Hmm…this picture looks a bit washed out, doesn’t it? I guess it just goes to show that just because it’s winter does not guarantee that all photos need to be gloomy!

More importantly, what this picture showcases is that I am nearly finished with my Braided Rib Pullover! For the second time! And this time it fits! I’ve actually made some non-photo-evident progress since I took this photo, as I wove in a number of ends, but mostly this sweater’s been sadly neglected since the first of the year. Too many other distractions, also known as Downton Abbey was simply too engaging to knit through. Among other excuses. I will however, have a finished wool sweater before spring. Maybe even by Monday morning, if I put my mind to it.

So the next question that bears thought: which WIP to finish next? My failure to post in January means my neglect of two important items 1) 2011 is the year of the Architectural Registration Exam, which means less time for anything that’s not “study” so therefore 2) 2011 is the year of finishing WIP’s. At least for a while. I’m thinking Crocus will be first–it should be speediest, and then it will be a toss-up between Aeolian and Ondule, both much too long neglected. Maybe then I’ll let myself start thinking about a brand new project. I have a very tempting stash, after all…